I’m a relic now, at the age of twenty-seven. When people say things like, “He’s a Marine,” I quietly proffer the word, “former.” But I’ll always be a Marine; I think that much is certain now. And not just a Marine but a Machine Gunner. That title is important because it’s synonymous with the term “super grunt,” and being a “heart breaker and life taker.” The old nostalgia still wells up in me, flooding my mind with the bad old days when things were so much simpler. Sometimes, when scenes of destruction play out again in my mind, I’ll mention a bit to a person nearby. They always look confused, unsure why I wouldn’t tell them positive military experiences instead of the negative.